ADHD Doesn’t Just Affect Kids
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is often thought of as a condition that makes concentration difficult for children. Roughly 6 million children are diagnosed with ADHD annually. Kids ages 12-17 are most often diagnosed, followed closely by children 6-11 years of age. Across all age ranges, boys are more likely to present with the condition, and Black and white non-Hispanic children are more likely to be diagnosed than Hispanic and Asian peers. ADHD doesn’t always disappear with age, so adults must also learn how to manage the condition. In some cases, supplements can help improve attention.
Poor attention in adults
Although most of the focus on ADHD is given to children, the reality is that most people diagnosed as kids don’t outgrow the condition. Research suggests 50-68% of children diagnosed with attention difficulty will also exhibit symptoms into adulthood. As a result, a need to address inattention, disorganization, and impulsivity remains for the adult population. Medications can be a great solution, but many adults wanting an alternative approach look to natural supplements to improve focus and attention.
1. Fish oil for focus
Omega-3 fatty acids, an essential nutrient found in fish oil, are considered a super solution for many bodily concerns. Along with reducing cholesterol, the micronutrient is also linked with brain function. Some research suggests that people with ADHD have lower omega-3s and require higher intake. A recent study found that people diagnosed with ADHD who took fish oil supplements or ate foods rich in the substance reported improved focus and reduced other symptoms.
2. Zinc for hyperactivity
No single supplement is a cure-all for every ADHD symptom. Similarly, most studies investigating supplementation efficacy are in conjunction with respondents taking traditional medications. However, research suggests a link between low zinc levels and hyperactivity in children. While zinc consumption isn’t linked with focus, taking the critical nutrient has been linked with improving impulsivity and hyperactivity. For adults that have trouble focusing on tasks, a zinc supplement may help.
3. Iron to control attention
Research suggests that roughly 84% of children with ADHD suffer from low iron levels. Studies have found that the lower the ferritin levels, a specific protein that stores iron inside the cells, the more profound the symptoms presented. Anecdotal evidence points to the idea that opting to supplement with iron can aid in controlling or at least reducing symptoms. However, before incorporating more iron, always request a blood test first to confirm that a deficiency is present.
Can supplementation help?
Individuals with ADHD must remember that studies examining the effectiveness of supplementation for symptoms are limited and that prescription medication has been proven to treat the condition effectively. However, some people may benefit from taking natural supplements such as fish oil, zinc, and iron to improve attention. If an adult with ADHD would like to consider supplementing to boost focus, consider speaking with a physician first.